No it is not true…
First of all – Their salaries are funded through the Treasury pursuant to the Constitution and are not funded through appropriations.
The memo that went out after the above meme started going around.
In case you missed, below is more detail on the $25 million in the CARES Act under the House of Representatives “Salaries and Expenses” heading was never intended for Congressional or Member salaries. The money included for the House of Representatives will be used for ensuring the House can continue to operate on behalf of the American people. As Congress transitions to a workforce that is primarily teleworking, additional resources may be needed needed to ensure your office can continue to serve their constituents.
These funds will also be used to help facilitate the continuity of the legislative process during a time in which the social distancing guidelines placed on Americans create logistical challenges. Specifically, it will be used to help purchase IT equipment and services, including expanded customer service and video town hall capabilities, and emergency transportation and logistical support as needed. All disbursements of these funds must be approved in a written plan and submitted to the Appropriations Committee, and any unspent funds not used for these purposes will be rescinded.
As of right now, this is a breakdown of how these funds will be spent, as indicated by the majority:
- $2 million for Office Supply Store computer purchases (front load revolving fund, will reimburse once paid for)
- $8.8 million for MRA (estimated $20k each office) for laptops/video town halls
- $2 million for Committees for laptops
- $1 million for expansion of IT Customer Support ($1m) and purchase additional equipment for computer imaging ($500k). Would include 24-7 support.
- $10 million Sergeant at Arms ($5m for emergency transportation; $5m for unforeseen emergencies)
Please keep in mind that these numbers are subject to change as the legislative and appropriations process moves forward and offices should not operate on the assumption they will receive additional money in their MRA. We will keep you updated on what the final numbers are. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Nick Crocker on my staff if you have any questions.
Committee on House Administration